Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday hosted by Ambrosia  @ The Purple Booker.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page.
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

My Teaser for this week is from

 The Samsaric

by G.W. Lwin

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Genre: Historical / Fantasy / Horror

 My teaser from page 48 in the paperback.

“So where were we? Oh yes, three against one,” Wither said, his fingers outstretched, each nail as long and sharp as a bear’s claw.

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Read on if you want to know more.

SAMSARA: "The cycle of birth, death and rebirth within the realms of existence …" The plague of 1918 A.D. The mortal world is in a state of devastation. A woman wakes up in an abandoned temple of Kali, the goddess of darkness, in the ancient city of Gaya. She does not know where she is. She does not remember the events leading to this. She only hears the familiar voice of a tormented man who has haunted in her dreams. He tells her a story – of a time of souls and suffering, of immortality and gods, of life and death. This, he says, is Mesopotamia. The SAMSARIC is a fast-paced fantasy-horror novel full of history, horror and vampirism from an ancient era.

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How about you? Got a tease? Tell me!

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Davenport House Prequel: Debutante
Marie Silk
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

The family saga begins in Debutante, a prequel to the best-selling Davenport House series. A life of luxury for the Davenports means drudgery for the servants on the grand country estate. This is their story in 1909 America, six years prior to the events of book one.

While her father is away on business, sixteen-year-old Mary Davenport feels confined and alone, despite her privileged life at the family’s mansion. As the day of Mary’s debutante ball draws near, the servants are conflicted by instructions from Mary’s mother to starve her until she fits into a gown that was made too small. Mary is also under pressure to act the part of society while being forbidden from seeing her only friend, the servant boy who works in the stable.

In a shantytown hours away, a young girl called Abigail is hired to sew a gown for a dressmaker’s wealthy patron. Abigail gives up her education in order to provide for her impoverished family. Neither she nor Mary is aware of how connected their futures are destined to become.

Goodreads / Amazon

Special release price of 99¢!

AND: Each book in the series will be on sale for 99¢ between April 22-27!

 

Author Marie Silk

Marie Silk has enjoyed writing stories and plays since childhood. She lives with her family in the United States and travels the globe as often as life permits. She is an admirer of history, antiques, and architecture. Marie is the author of the best selling Davenport House family saga.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook

 

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The Rise of Miss Notley

by Rachael Anderson

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When Miss Coralynn Notley’s father barters her off to the first titled gentleman to come along, she realizes she must flee her home or be forced to wed a despicable man. Driven by desperation, she applies for the position of housekeeper at Tanglewood Manor, the home of the handsome Mr. Jonathan Ludlow. The moment Jonathan sees Miss Notley, he is intrigued. She is far too young and inexperienced, yet there is something about her that that inspires a certain hope within him. Does he dare offer her the position of housekeeper or will doing so result in catastrophe?

 

Excerpt

Cora nodded and followed Mr. Ludlow into the parlor. He closed the doors and stood in front of them with his arms folded, looking far more intimidating than he had during their last meeting. He said nothing, merely lifted an inquiring eyebrow and waited.
Caught unprepared, Cora stared at him, trying to organize her thoughts into words. After a few moments of awkward silence, he lost patience. “What is it you wished to speak with me about, Mrs. Notley? Or are we to stand here staring at each other all afternoon?”
Not knowing how else to begin, Cora blurted, “Why have you hired me, sir?”
He blinked a few times before frowning. “I believe I have made that perfectly clear. You are to be the housekeeper, are you not?”
This was going to be more difficult than she had imagined. “Yes, of course, but there has been some talk about, or rather concerns expressed . . .” How did one put this delicately?
“About . . .?” he prodded, obviously not thrilled that his morning regime had been waylaid.
“About the reasons I have been offered the position,” she quickly said, hoping that would be enough to make him understand her meaning.
Unfortunately, his brows drew together in confusion. “What are you saying, Mrs. Notley? I have hired you to do certain duties that will hopefully make my household run more smoothly. What other reason could I possibly have for offering you the position?”
“You have hired me to do a job I am untrained to do,” she said. “While I am grateful for the opportunity, I also find it necessary to clarify that I have come here to be a housekeeper and only a housekeeper. Even though I am young and . . .” Her voice drifted off. Had she almost referred to herself as pretty? Goodness, this was proving to be very awkward indeed.
“Beautiful?” he finally guessed, not looking at all pleased with the direction the conversation was taking.
“I was going to say not repulsive,” she fibbed.
“Very well,” he said. “Even though you are young and not repulsive . . .” He moved his hand in a circular gesture, urging her to finish her thought.
Cora straightened her shoulders and forced herself to continue. “I am not the sort of girl who would ever . . . fraternize with her employer.” Her face infused with heat, but she forced her gaze to remain steady.
“I see.” He walked slowly towards her, rubbing his chin with his hand. A few steps away, he stopped and eyed her quizzically. “Have I made any improper advances towards you?”
“No, sir.”
“Have I spoken to you in an unprofessional manner?”
“No.”
“Have I looked at you in a way that has made you feel uncomfortable?”
“No.” Cora suddenly wished she had not felt the need to clarify anything. He made her feel as though she had put the cart before the horse when what she had been trying to do was see that the cart and horse simply stayed in their proper places. Was that so wrong?
“Might I ask who, exactly, has led you to believe that I am the sort of man capable of—how did you put it? Fraternizing with my help?”
“I, er, would rather not say, sir.” Though Cora felt no loyalty towards Sally, she refused to bring Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd’s names into the conversation. “I did not mean to besmirch your name or cause any offense, Mr. Ludlow. I merely wanted to make my feelings on the matter clear.”
“And you have.”
“Good.” Cora dropped into a quick curtsy, anxious to get away. “I shall go and find Watts now.”
She was almost to the door when his voice stopped her. “Once again, you are attempting to scuttle away before we have completed our conversation.”
Slowly, she turned around and lifted her eyes to his. “I never scuttle, sir.”
“What would you call that rapid walk of yours?”
“A rapid walk.”

 

RachaelAuthor Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Website

 

 

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/15/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

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Returned Trilogy

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Returned

by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Returned

After tragedy strikes on the day they were to wed, Jayden must support Kadesh as he ascends the throne and becomes king of Sariba. But with the dark priestess Aliyah conspiring to control the crown, and the arrival of Horeb, Jayden’s former betrothed, Kadesh’s kingdom, as well as his status as king, is at stake.

Jayden knows that the time to be merciful has come and gone, and that some enemies can only be halted by death. Now she and Kadesh must prepare to fight not only for their love, but also for their kingdom.
This is the final book in the epic trilogy that began with Forbidden and Banished. Jayden and Kadesh’s love will be put to the ultimate test as they fight a war to save their kingdom.

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Enjoy the excerpt.

Last night should have been one of bliss. After all Kadesh and I had been through—the loss of my family, the trek through the harsh desert . . . this should have been our night, the first as husband and wife in the marriage tent. I’d imagined us sipping wine and bathing in a marbled bath. Lying in perfect luxury on a golden bed, together at last.

Instead, Kadesh and I were like lost children, orphaned by the sudden death of his uncle, King Ephrem, and our wedding ceremony that had been irrevocably destroyed mere hours ago.

While King Ephrem’s pyre burned out, the last of the red flames snapped at the salty sea air, devouring the body of the King of Sariba.

A hot wind whipped at my bridal gown. I wanted to scrape the horror of the night from my sight until my eyelids were raw.

 

Praise for the Book

 

Booklist (starred review)

“At its core, this is a romance, with all the push and pull that goes along with impossible love, and Little elevates the story by creating a perilous landscape, both outward and inward, as Jayden must deal with the hardship of desert life as well as her own desires. . . descriptions of the landscape are evocative in both desolation and in beauty. Just as good is the pacing, which gets the blood pumping for both characters and readers. This will heighten anticipation for a no-doubt exciting conclusion.”

 

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Rich historical details are deftly woven into Jayden’s narration, and the dynamics of Jayden’s tribe are vividly drawn. Jayden’s story becomes as much about finding herself as it is about finding love.”

Reader: “This book took my breath away. I loved the immersive story and the rich setting of ancient Mesopotamia. The customs, traditions, and beliefs of the desert people were captivating and every time I set the book down I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. I’ve never read anything like this before.”

Reader: “Forbidden was so captivating that I awoke early in the morning, while my family was still sleeping, so I could finish the last pages of this beautifully haunting tale.”

 

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SONY DSCAuthor Kimberley Griffiths Little

Kimberley Griffiths Little is the author of ten award-winning Middle-Grade and Young Adult novels with Knopf, Scholastic and Harpercollins, including the Whitney Award, the Arizona/New Mexico Book Award, the SCBWI Crystal Kite, the Southwest Book Award, and others. ALA BOOKLIST named FORBIDDEN, the first book in her Ancient Mesopotamian historical fantasy a Young Adult Top 10 novel for the Historical category, Romance category, and Religious/Inspirational.

Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She once stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland and didn’t sleep a wink; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. She was born in San Francisco but now lives on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and three sons.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/27/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Welcome to The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice.

 

This is a really fun meme!

The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Then go over to Freda’s Voice and leave your link so we can visit your 56!

My 56 for this week is from:

 The Breedling & The City In The Garden

The Element Odysseys #1

by Kimberlee Ann Bastian

31287004

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Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

From page 56 in the paperback.

He was not surprised to see them loitering, for nothing happened on Morgan Street without Frankenstein knowing about it. He cringed at the thought of what  story they might tell, his friendly exchange with the kid and the bird attack noteworthy news.

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Read on if you want to know more.

Synopsis

Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality.

These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.

He chose defiance.

Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.

Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.

AMAZON

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Leave your link and I’ll drop by your 56.

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 a-very-scary-christmas-banner-oubliette-2
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Have a Very Scary Christmas
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This time of the year is often
happy, filled with cheer and the spirit of giving. For those who enjoy
something a little darker, though, there are plenty of thrills on the movie
front.
If you like things that are
twisted and dark, then here are the top five scary holiday movies you can
watch:
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Jack Frost
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Nothing like a killer snowman
named Jack Frost to get you in the mood for the holidays, right? This 1997
thriller is a classic holiday romp you are sure to enjoy. The movie takes place
in the fictional town of Snowmonton, where a truck carrying serial killer Jack
Frost to his execution crashes into a genetics truck. The genetic material
causes Jack’s body to mutate and fuse together with the snow on the ground. As
you can imagine, what happens next is pretty freaky and fun!
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Gremlins
 

As cute as those little buggers
are when they are soft, fuzzy Mogwai, they are delightfully evil as Gremlins.
They wreak havoc during Christmas when a boy inadvertently breaks three
important rules about getting his new pet wet. This is a family favorite and if
you’ve never seen it, now it is the season.

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Silent Night, Deadly Night



A slasher flick that brings us
all back to the 80s, this film is perfect for fans of serial killer movies.
It’s tehe story of an escaped maniac who returns to his childhood home on
Christmas Eve, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority
sisters one by one. There is lots of blood and gore, watch this one with the
lights low after the kids are in bed.

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Krampus
Released last year, Krampus is
based on a German legend and takes the notion of St. Nick and spins it in a
whole new direction. It’s about a boy who has a bad Christmas ends up
accidentally summoning this festive demon to his family home. Lots of jumpy
moments make this a must-watch during the holidays.
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The
Nightmare Before Christmas
Okay, this is considered a
Halloween flick, too, but it certainly crosses over and spans two of the best
holidays of the year. You see, Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town,
discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept. Can you
blame him? Tim Burton is a master and this film can be enjoyed by young and old
anytime during the season.
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Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place
Vanta M. Black
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Paranormal, 
Historical Fiction, Genre-Fiction, 
New Adult, Horror
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Publisher: Black Chateau Publishing
Date of Publication: March 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9964488-2-6 / ISBN: 978-0-9964488-1-9
ISBN: 978-0-9964488-0-2
Number of pages: 566 / Word Count: 247,912
Cover Artist: Black Chateau Enterprises
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My Review
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This is a rather long book but reads quickly as the author transports you back in time and forward to the present, giving you multiple perspectives that enrich this tale of historical horror.  And it all starts with a ten-year-old girl, Veronica, suffering from what everyone believes are night terrors.

The author then flashes to the present. Veronica is all grown up and struggling to make it on her own as an interior designer. A mysterious invitation to come to France for the summer and do a complete makeover at the historical Le Chateau du Feu Ardent, which means The  Castle Of Blazing Fire, sounds like a dream come true to her. But she could never have imagined the nightmares that await.

Veronica invites her sister, Nikki, to come along. Nikki is a bit spoiled and self-centered but I still found her a delight. She adds that light- hearted humor that provides a break in the suspense, allowing you to fully connect with these two sisters. But all isn’t light and laughter as the two are exposed to something dark, insidious. It will be a summer they’ll never forget, and maybe won’t survive.

Oubliette is filled with historical fact that blends the real and fictional. The author’s ability to do this shines in her descriptions of the different periods. You feel like you’ve stepped in a time capsule and are actually seeing the places she reveals.

The cover was what first caught my attention. I thought I was getting a horror story. And I did. But I also got much, much more, and I highly recommend this tale.

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4 Stars
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Book Description
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Veronica knows the monsters aren’t “just in her head”, but no one listens to the headstrong ten-year-old as they tie her to a hospital bed every night.
Years later, after being dumped by her business-partner/boyfriend, Veronica finds herself on the verge of bankruptcy. Then a late-night call promises the perfect solution — a job opportunity decorating a castle in France.
Will Veronica risk what little she has left to chase a fairytale?
When the shadowy things that once terrorized her come back, Veronica must decide how much she’ll sacrifice for them, for her sanity, and for her life.
This epic book consists of interwoven stories with paranormal twists. A horror-filled historical fiction adventure, it spans nearly two millennia.
You’ll be transported to an ancient Pagan ritual, Roman-ruled Gaul, the bloody Inquisition of the Knights Templar, France as it’s ravaged by the Black Death, the duplicitous Reformation, the Paris Catacombs, and the gory French Revolution, while you unravel Oubliette’s cryptic layers.
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Amazon    BN    Author Website
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Excerpt One from Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place by Vanta M. Black – From the Prologue to Veronica’s Story
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Veronica didn’t understand why they looked for the monsters in her head, that’s obviously not where they were. Instead of listening, the doctors stuck pads with wires to her temples and increased the dosage of an IV that dripped into her veins.
They also told the nurses to tie her down with thick, leather belts every night.
The tethers didn’t matter though, because when the monsters came, she wouldn’t be able to move anyway. The only thing Veronica could ever do was scream.
The doctors called them “night terrors”. The pudgy lady who talked funny –– she told Veronica it was her accent –– said they were “spirits”. Mommy used the term “shadow people”. Veronica just called them “monsters”, and wished they’d stop scaring her when she slept. 
They wanted her. Deep inside, on a primal level, Veronica knew the monsters –– or whatever they were –– craved her, and if given the chance, they would do something very, very bad to her. 
The little girl tried to explain this to the doctors, the nurses, the accent-talking lady, and her mother, but none of the adults really listened. Instead they argued and shouted at each other, and huffed in and out of the room –– but the thing that frightened Veronica the most, is when the adults would simply shrug their shoulders, and admit that they really didn’t have any idea what the monsters were at all.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:
Vanta M. Black, author of Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place, enjoys uncovering the dark mysteries of our Universe.
In addition to writing,  she enjoys traveling to provocative places and studying all things esoteric.
Black has degrees in English, communication and art. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two pug-mix dogs, and spends her time in support of causes that empower women and advance science and technology.
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HORROR WRITING PROMOTION
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 The Oh Lá Lá Oubliette Fan Fiction Contest gives writers the opportunity to win a trip to France! This is ideal for horror fans who love to read and write. 
 
The criteria is simple. Writers are asked to submit between 500 and 10,000 words. 
 
Any of the many story lines or characters from the book may be used for inspiration. A judging panel will evaluate fan fiction submissions on story structure, creativity, and authenticity to the book. 
 
Entries can be flash fiction, biographical, historical, poem, or 
nearly any other narrative format.
 

 

 

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Title: One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging
Author:  Beth M. Caruso
Publisher: Ladyslipper Press
Pages: 358
Genre:  Historical Fiction

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My Review

It’s not something we think about in modern times. I can’t imagine being a woman back in the 1600s. There are few prospects beyond marriage. When Alice has no family left in England and no place to go, she takes a position with a wealthy family traveling to North America. They settle in Massachusetts Bay, and Alice hopes to reconnect with some family members there.

As Alice adjusts to her new country, she faces many obstacles. And it’s not the best time to be viewed as different or gifted. The witch scare is on and no one is safe from the persecution of the Puritans.

I fear for Alice, and even though I know how the story has to end, I want her to be safe. To be happy. She’s a gentle woman, loving, bright, and passionate about life.

You can tell the author did extensive research about the peoples and customs of these times. I felt like I’d dipped my toes into the past. The descriptive writing showed me this story. I was on the ship.  I marveled at the new wilderness, and walked the streets. And I read the minds of the people. The paranoid thinking of the Puritans. Their righteous wrath.

It was a scary time. One you may find hard to believe. But the hanging of witches did occur.  And this is Alice’s story. The story of the first witch hanging.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

Alice, a young woman prone to intuitive insights and loyalty to the only family she has ever known, leaves England for the rigid colony of the Massachusetts Bay in 1635 in hopes of reuniting with them again. Finally settling in Windsor, Connecticut, she encounters the rich American wilderness and its inhabitants, her own healing abilities, and the blinding fears of Puritan leaders which collide and set the stage for America’s first witch hanging, her own, on May 26, 1647.

This event and Alice’s ties to her beloved family are catalysts that influence Connecticut’s Governor John Winthrop Jr. to halt witchcraft hangings in much later years. Paradoxically, these same ties and the memory of the incidents that led to her accusation become a secret and destructive force behind Cotton Mather’s written commentary on the Salem witch trials of 1692, provoking further witchcraft hysteria in Massachusetts forty-five years after her death.

The author uses extensive historical research combined with literary inventions, to bring forth a shocking and passionate narrative theory explaining this tragic and important episode in American history.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Enjoy the excerpt

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY, 1692

 

The elderly reverend knew it was crucial to stop Satan. As if in unison with the Dark Lord’s latest antics, tremendous bolts of lightning and deafening thunder heralded the ensuing rainstorm of that early autumn day in Boston. The reverend’s dedicated son would have preferred that he stay home by a fire and rest. Still feisty in his later years of life, he refused. He was fervently determined to discuss pertinent matters at hand concerning the witchcraft calamities in Salem and surrounding towns. As a minister, albeit a retired one, he felt responsible for guiding younger ministers, such as Cotton Mather, to make their congregations understand the menacing threats of witchcraft.

The aged minister was someone who had personally suffered through a demonic incursion in Windsor, a river town of the Connecticut Colony, back in 1647. He was fully cognizant of its evil impacts. Satan had infiltrated Windsor through a consort and witch whom he knew all too well. The Great Demon had been stealthy in his trickery. But this time, the respected pastor hoped to arrest the Devil’s mischief before the same level of destruction and harm could occur. Accordingly, he was there to offer his assistance to Cotton Mather in dealing with witchcraft presently taking hold in Massachusetts Bay towns and villages. The young minister welcomed him into his home.

 “Good day, dear Reverend. You must come in quickly out of the rain and take comfort by the hearth. I will have my servants bring you my finest cider and freshly baked, delicious cakes to eat. I have so much to share with you. By your experience, you have been the inspiration I have needed to start the work that we were speaking of the other week,” spoke Cotton Mather.

“Thank you, Cotton. It will warm my body as well as my heart to sit by the fire and hear of the inspirations that took hold of your soul. I hope it helped you to do the honorable task of warning our people of the great wrath of Satan,” replied the elderly reverend.

With that pronouncement, the old reverend took off his soggy cloak and sat down at a table next to the hearth. He paused and grew distinctly somber before continuing.

“Satan must not be allowed to advance further into our New England wilderness, for we have painstakingly worked at taming it over the years. Yet our young people lapse into disobedience of the commandments of Jesus Christ. Our current admonishment by the Lord through the events in Salem and b yond act to bring us back to the righteous path,” explained the aged pastor as the rain poured down.

He looked wide-eyed and serious at Cotton.

Cotton Mather nodded at the old reverend in agreement and replied, “You see, honored Reverend, by your histories of the very earliest acts of war first waged upon these colonies by Lucifer, I have been able to put the current difficulties in Salem into a broader view of understanding for our present government. I hope it will aid those justices that would weigh their opinions upon such cases of bewitchments. It is also for the benefit of younger generations. I know you prefer not to be mentioned by name, but hear what it is that I have reiterated concerning those times,” he implored.

Cotton quickly pulled out a satchel full of papers written upon with a righteous and eloquent hand and requested, “Please tell me what you think, Reverend. This is from the introduction of my commentary. These words were taken directly from our lengthy conversations of what is transpiring now at Salem and in our congregations in relation to the Devil and his armies’ frustration of

defeat in Connecticut so many years ago. I am naming this commentary Wonders of the Invisible World.”

Wonders of the Invisible World,” nodded the old reverend, speaking loudly over the storm.

A servant came in and poured warm cider for the two ministers. At being interrupted, the elderly pastor pursed his lips, staying silent, but met Cotton’s eyes with a secret understanding. They waited until the servant left before continuing their discussion.

Cotton continued, “This is part of the Introduction, Enchantments Encountered”.

He read, “We have been advised by Credible Christians still alive, that a Malefactor accused of Witchcraft as well as Murder, and executed in this place, more than Forty years ago, did then give Notice of An Horrible PLOT against the country by WITCHCRAFT, and a foundation of Witchcraft then laid, which if it were not seasonably discovered, would probably Blow up and pull down all the Churches in the Country.”

“ Yes. Yes!” agreed the agitated old minister, and added, “ The young people need to know how, if we had not ferreted out the witch that spawned all others on the shores of the Great Connecticut, all of our churches in the colonies would have failed indeed. Nothing would have pleased Satan and his legions more than to see those intent on building a godly and pure Utopian state in this wilderness beaten down and forced by evil to return to England. We, the people of Windsor, agonized much in bringing to light of day the bewitchments brought upon us by a naughty and wayward woman. She who made a pact with the Devil allowed him to nearly destroy us. By the Grace of God he did not, thanks to the watchful vigilance of God’s dedicated and steadfast servants!” he howled with the tempest.

The aged pastor continued, enraged, “No one likes to speak her name. She deserves no recognition for her defamation of this country by unleashing devils that would dare claim this corner of the earth for their own in an affront to the Lord Jesus Christ. By her hand, a

great pestilence of disease infiltrated the daily life of the fledgling colony of Connecticut, especially in the town of Windsor. We had settled into our homes only about twelve years when the Devil was over- come with venomous jealousy that we had claimed formerly heathen territory and tamed wilderness for our Lord Jesus. Satan saw a prime opportunity to permeate and upset our small community through the wickedness and unfaithfulness of that woman,” he spoke as the sky rumbled.

The old reverend took a sip of cider, wetting his dry lips.

“Such was the power that Satan infused her with that a great many people died, including many young children, for the Devil has no conscience and no compassion. Upon her death, she did swear in a fit of lies that she was innocent. She cursed those whose testimonies and swift actions led her to the hangman’s noose. The good Reverend Thomas Hooker was presiding at the First Church in Windsor for the Reverend John Wareham during the time of her bewitchments,” recounted the old cleric.

He clenched his fists as he took a deep breath.

“He helped to expose her and was touched by her wickedness in such a way that he died less than one month later of the same dreaded disease that she helped to proliferate and use to kill other devout soldiers of Christ,” the old reverend said.

Cotton Mather spoke again intensely, “Yes, I understand, Reverend. I pref- ace the first reading I recited just now with this…The New Englanders are a People of God settled in those, which were once the Devil’s Territories; and it may easily be supposed that the Devil was exceedingly disturbed, when he perceived such a People here accomplishing the Promise of old made unto our Blessed Jesus, that He should have the Utmost parts of the Earth for his Possession.

Cotton continued, “I believe that never were more Satanical Devices used for the Unsettling of any People under the Sun, than what have been employed for the Extirpation of the Vine which God has here Planted, Casting out the Heathen, and preparing a Room before it, and causing it to take deep Root, and fill the Land, so that it sent its Boughs unto the Atlantic Sea Eastward, and its Branches unto the Connecticut River westward, and the Hills were covered with the shadow thereof. But in all those attempts of Hell, have hitherto been Abortive and Having obtained Help from God, we continue to this Day. Where fore the Devil is now making one Attempt more difficult, more Surprising, more snarled with unintelligible circumstances than any we have hitherto encountered.

The senior cleric nodded his head approvingly. Their conversation contin-ued for the better part of two hours. The time was interspersed with prayers

as well, imploring the Almighty Father to empower them in their fight against the Prince of Darkness. Cider was refilled several times. They discussed the importance of weeding out all of Satan’s imps and witches in Salem and other nearby villages and towns so that New England could be as pure again as that first generation of godly wayfarers who led the ultimate religious Utopian experiment into the wilderness.

When the conversation eased, the thoughtful and grave old minister stared into the fire. He wondered if she were burning in hellfires in that very moment. And what of the souls of the family who had forever fractured in their defense or blame of her, the first colonial witch? He was becoming quite old now. Soon, he hoped to be called to God’s kingdom. Until that time, he would continue to be of service to the younger generations of ministers trying to guide their lost flocks away from Satan.

Abruptly, there was a knock on the door that jerked the ministers from their pious imaginings. It was the elderly reverend’s son. He had come to retrieve his father. He paid his respects to the Reverend Cotton Mather and then gently guided his father out into the streets of Boston, newly drenched from the rain. The elderly pastor turned around and shouted to Reverend Mather.

“Please feel free to call for my assistance again. For an old man such as I delights in nothing more than making his last acts upon this earth ones that are dedicated to bringing God’s people closer to Him and away from the wretches of the Devil. I shall be honored to continue to help you with your mission,” offered the old cleric.

“Thank you, honorable Reverend,” answered Cotton with a slight bow.

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Author Beth M. Caruso

beth-m-caruso

Beth M. Caruso grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and spent her childhood writing puppet shows and witches’ cookbooks. She became interested in French Literature and Hispanic Studies, receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cincinnati. She later obtained Masters degrees in Nursing and Public Health.

Working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, she helped to improve the public health of local Karen hill tribes. She also had the privilege to care for hundreds of babies and their mothers as a labor and delivery nurse.

Largely influenced by an apprenticeship with herbalist and wildcrafter, Will Endres, in North Carolina, she surrounds herself with plants through gardening and native species conservation.

Her latest passion is to discover and convey important stories of women in American history. One of Windsor is her debut novel. She lives in New England with her awesome husband, amazing children, loyal puppy, and cuddly cats.

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